Left Hand Free

Album: This Is All Yours (2014)
Charted: 85 99
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Songfacts®:

  • Why is his left hand free, and what's he planning to do with it? There are many possible interpretations, but the band didn't put much thought into it.

    Speaking about this tune to The Guardian the band called it "the least Alt-J song ever." They wrote the cut to appease their American label who didn't think the lead track "Hunger Of The Pine" was a "big single."

    The song was written in twenty minutes and is based around a "joke riff" that vocalist and guitarist Joe Newman had been playing in rehearsals.

    Drummer Thom Green said: "I tried to make the drums as clichéd as possible, there's none of my personality in it."

    Newman added: "And I say, 'Gee whizz', which I'm not sure is a phrase I've ever uttered before. I can imagine it appealing to American truckers with Good Riddance To Bin Laden stickers!"

    The song was released to United States modern rock radio on July 15, 2014 as the second single from This Is All Yours.
  • The song's music video was filmed along the Guadalupe River near Austin, Texas, by director Ryan Staake, who's also helmed clips for Diplo, Robyn and Major Lazer. The clip shows some college-aged kids having fun shooting off fireworks, river rafting and riding ATVs during their summer break.
  • Despite the song's almost-clichéd rock sound and tongue-in-cheek video, Joe Newman insisted to DIY magazine it wasn't their intention to subvert anything. Instead, it was something they came up with spontaneously. "We really just go with what feels right when we're playing together," he asserted.

    "'Left Hand Free' was a leap into a completely different world for us, but we were enjoying it, so we kept doing it, we thought it was funny, we thought we could play characters," Newman added. "That's what we do with all of our music, we do it because it sounds good."
  • The song plays during a pivotal scene of the 2016 Captain America: Civil War movie and again during its closing credits.
  • "Left Hand Free" is the opening scene song in the premiere episode of Netflix's teen drama Outer Banks.

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